Dechen Dolkar 

Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 are expected to arrive by the end of this month if things work as per the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) plan.

A health official, who did not want to be named, said the government placed an order for 180,000 doses of Pfizer paediatric vaccines from the Pfizer company.

According to the source, the vaccine is set to arrive on February 28.

There are about 83,000 children aged from 5 to 11 in the country.

The Cabinet has also approved the procurement of Pfizer paediatric vaccines, including primary and booster doses for children, as proposed by the MoH.

It also directed the ministry to start the procurement of the second booster dose for the whole population.

According to the ministry, 81.1 percent of the eligible population was vaccinated with the first dose and 77.8 percent vaccinated with the second dose in the country. Similarly, 82.5 percent of the eligible population above 18 years of age were vaccinated with booster doses.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention states that the dosage for children aged 5 to 11 is 0.2mL/IM injection.

In an earlier interview, Health Ministry Dechen Wangmo said that without vaccinating children, it will be difficult to achieve 80 percent herd immunity.

Children are in the high-risk group, along with elderly people and people with comorbidities.

Schools in Thimphu thromde are gathering student details for the vaccination. Sources said that the vaccination is expected to begin before they join school.

Meanwhile, the MoH officials could not be reached for comments.